2008-08-11

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I never thought I would begin a blog talking about a movie, but so be it. After all, it has been a long time since a film didn't hit me like this one (maybe "Solaris", about 5 years ago?). And what the hell, I should start one way or another. And am missing a good debate. Let's see how this goes.
  • "Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it"
  • Those who cannot remember the past, but are informed of it (not too vividly, maybe)... can accept it? Even have a 2nd chance? (I would love that branch to be explored with the same guts)
  • "External memories": the sore fist after the punch in Memento, the attraction in ESotSM, ... (though the first is a consequence, the second a cause). Anyway, for some reason, I was (so!) thankful that the word "predestination" didn't pop up. Would have been too cheap, I guess.
(I was now looking for the word "predestination" in the english subtitles now just to be sure... but no, it is never used. But reading them I am reminded of how intimate, how simple, how painful the movie was. The parting moments in the beach house... the disarming undoing of the little initial misunderstanding ("Oh, it's ok"). Even Solaris feels cold now)
  • Even without memories, causes may still be there, like roots waiting to grow again... Memento's character tried growing new roots to be able to live on.
  • And without the wound, you can't grow a scar; you can't learn. The root will grow again eventually. Better to know that, to either attack the grow itself, or control the way it grows. Know thyself... Temet Nosce (yeah, Matrix again).
  • At the end of the deletion he (inside the "dream") still remembers what is happening... and that looks wrong. As some moments when Clem talks a bit too much to be just a memory. (Maybe looking for "errors" helps me rationalize, put some distance?)
  • Are we all, are all relationships, THAT typical?
  • It started a bit rough and wanting... maybe because I was comparing it to "Before Sunrise". But the comparison makes no sense, as one discovers soon.
  • Interesting how the seediness of the company and the process brought credibility. I read somewhere that the 70's future was clean shiny plastics, the 80's dirtyness... maybe now it is something more mundane, mediocre?
  • Funny how the lucid dreaming, the trying-to-wake up was sewn into the history. Like the deja vu in Matrix. Haunts me when makes me think about that kind of episodes.
  • And I remember myself making more comparisons with BladeRunner (Rachel), with the inverse situation in Groundhog's day (only the main character remembers), ... and the middle point which is Memento: he can't forget, he always has just-suffered the loss, "Probably burned truckloads of your stuff. Can't remember to forget you.". Lots of situations, of films to compare, too much to make a meaningful class of films: after all, how many different ways there are to say that life is a dream, that what you feel may not be Reality?
  • The reason why the relationship failed was already present in the beginning... yeah, maybe it usually is like that, but here it was interestingly explicit.
  • Michael Gondry, director of Björk's Bachelorette and Human Behaviour, is screenwriter and director!! I love when old "friends" come up by surprise like that. Maybe I should start fishing actively for my already-known likings... (though that will make me see Nolan's Batmans...)
(huh, IMDB says he also has directed videos for Chemical Brothers and Massive Attack!!)
  • On the other hand, Kaufman, also writer in ESotSM, also made Adaptation (bleh!) and Being John Malkovich. That would have made me wary. The jury is still out, I guess.
  • After having this movie immediately snap-in with me, It was interesting to read a couple of established critics with negative opinions. Enlightening actually, as in "so this is what critics are worth" (babbler and babbler and sometimes managing quite perfectly to obviate some of the best things). One of them complained about the lack of erotic tension (or some such) between them. Excuse me, are we talking about the same film??
(I think I always love The Filthy Critic opinions . Even with his nasty Matrix review... ) In case someone reads this and gets intrigued about Solaris: the book is very short and very good (too good to be that short!), and much better than the american film, which only touches half of the story and perverts the ending. I have not seen the russian one.

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